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Bethesda wins 'Marketing Team of the Year' award
Bethesda wins 'Marketing Team of the Year' award
April 18, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

The 2012 Game Marketing Awards named Bethesda Softworks the "Game Marketing Team of the Year," celebrating the company's efforts promoting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim last year.

Held after San Francisco's Game Marketing Summit on Tuesday night, the awards show recognizes creative and standout marketing campaigns for games. Bethesda Softworks and its ad agency partner AKQA won numerous honors at the event.

AKQA was named "Game Marketing Agency of the Year," and it took home Gold/Silver/Bronze awards in various other categories with Bethesda, such as "Best Use of Sound," "Best Online Advertising Campaign," "Best Website for a Product," and many others.

Additional recipients included Electronic Arts ("Best Partnership" with ESPN), Ubisoft ("Outstanding Overall Marketing Campaign - General Entertainment" for Rocksmith), Microsoft ("Best Long-Format Promotional Content" with Gears of War 3), and Activision ("Most Effective Buzz Marketing: Promotion" for Call of Duty XP).

A full list of winners for all of the categories at the 2012 Game Marketing Awards is available to download here (PDF link).

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Joseph Cook
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While not explicitly stated above, I think Bethesda's marketing/PR above all deserves credit for just treating their customers with respect. EA, Capcom, and others are going out of their way to practically exploit their existing customers for every dollar they have. Incredibly complex preorder schemes, horrible DLC practices, anti-consumer behavior, and just a load of stupid crap.

Bethesda, on the other hand, just releases a game called Skyrim. No complicated preorder deals. No excessive DLC (only to be full-on expansions later). Amazing fan treatment with quick patches and Steam Workshop integration. Great responses to controversial issues. And they sell 10 million copies in short order.

It's not just their talent as a developer that accomplishes things like this, it's pure devotion for and respect of their customers to build current and future loyalty. That's quality marketing as much as anything, and other developers could benefit a whole lot to take a few cues from them. It seems like outside of Bethesda, Valve, CD Projekt, and a couple others, no one understands these days how to run a non-exploitative business, and most seem to be failing as a result.

Timothy Barton
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Agreed 110%. While many complain that Skyrim shouldn't have been released that way in the first place, I have been extremely impressed with how rapid they have released patches and fixes. They have acknowledged shortcomings, and tirelessly worked to support their product post-launch. All without any financial compensation (immediately anyways). I know this is more about their marketing but marketing is often presenting a brand, and all of these things going into presenting a solid branding.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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They definetly learned something from the whole Horse Armor thing :)

Johnathon Swift
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Considering the ridiculous friggen hype over yet another step down in the once great Elderscrolls games (my personal opinion), they friggen deserve it! I never saw so much nerd hype over a single game before, other companies should be taking notes on the frazzle the managed to whip up.

And yeah, as stated above it shows that the ridiculous pre-order schemes and exclusive whatevers aren't necessary at all to make a great advertising campaign.

Sebastian Cardoso
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I had no idea there were "Game Marketing Awards". Good on Bethesda. Those guys kill it with each game.